Congratulations! You won a moose permit. Now, the work begins. Assume you are going to spend six days in the woods and choppings of Maine. Those hours away from camp are spent searching and walking and driving. It might not sound as exhausting as it was but…you are toast at the end of the day. In order to be as parepared as possible, here are the things that I packed for my hunt:
Too many clothes.
I packed every piece of hunting clothing I owned. I packed more socks than I could ever wear over the course of 6 days. The weather was sunny and beautiful, cold and breezy and we had a full day of rain. Moose move in all weather. You need to be where the moose are so make sure you are dressed for everything the Maine outdoors could throw at you. It won’t matter if you are hunting in September or October. You may have snow or you may have 70 degree temps. Or both. Be ready!
Snacks and water.
It’s a must for every hunt but if you are walking or driving, you want to not be hungry and dehydrated. I packed some hydration packs from Wilderness Athlete that I would add to a water bottle and be good to go. Snacks like jerky, protein bars, apples and crackers will help fill the gaps between meals.
Mapping – Gazetteer and apps like OnX.
An updated Gazette is everyone’s friend. I also used OnX to track where we were going and mark moose signs. When you get apps like this, make sure you are prepared to use them in offline mode. I tracked our route every day and found that we hiked more than 25 miles and drove more than 700 miles.
Buy boots now and start breaking them in. Bad or inproper footwear will always ruin a hunt. Think about all of the hunting conditions you may be in. Dirt roads and choppings are very different and have different challenges. Snow, rain and the heat will also impact your footwear. Solid boots will keep you going.
If you are not using a guide, think about everything you may need to get the moose out or butcher it in the woods. Things like rope, sharp knives, gloves, bags to keep the meat as clean as possible, head lamp (or two), orange marker tape (in case you need to mark a trail to and from your moose) and a jet sled or something you could use to help with dragging.
Think of all of the scenarios that you could run into with your hunt and plan ahead. Always have a safety kit with you! The more you can anticipate what might happen, the more prepared you will be and your hunt will be more enjoyable. Getting drawn for a moose permit doesn’t happen often and you want to make sure that the opportunity doesn’t go to waste.
Be prepared and have a great hunt! Good luck!